The Concise Oxford Companion to Irish Literature

Front Cover
Robert Welch
Oxford University Press, 2000 - Literary Criticism - 392 pages
By turns sacred or profane, mystical or earthy, scathingly satirical, and modern or achingly nostalgic for the ever-receding past, the literature of Ireland has long entranced and entertained readers the world over. Now in a new concise edition with 140 completely new entries, this impressive work provides a comprehensive and delightfully readable guide to the evolution and achievements of Irish writers and writing across sixteen tumultuous centuries. Written by a distinguished team of writers from Ireland and around the world, this remarkable edition offers over 2,000 entries that provide insight into the intimate fusion of history, literature, and culture that distinguishes so much of Ireland's poetry, drama, and fiction. Unrivalled in scope, this volume encompasses writing in both the Irish language and in English, across the religious and political spectrums, by native Irish and Anglo-Irish writers and such outsiders as Londoner Edmund Spenser. In contrast to other, less complete references, the editors here seek always to show the complex and continuing influence of the Irish language on writers in English, and vice versa.
Whether readers are seeking a quick introduction or an invitation into the theatrical worlds of J.M. Synge or Sean O'Casey, this superb volume is a wonderfully accessible reference and an indispensable research tool. It will be treasured not only by students and scholars of Irish writing and history, but by anyone seeking a more acute understanding of one of the world's most vibrant literary traditions.

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About the author (2000)

Professor of English and Director of the Centre for Irish Literature and Bibliography, University of Ulster at Coleraine

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